The concepts of "addiction" and "(pathological) narcissism" were introduced to account for oft-recurring amalgams of behaviors, moods, emotions, and cognitions. Both are organizing, exegetic principles with some predictive powers. Both hark back to Calvinist and Puritan strands of Protestantism where excess and compulsion (inner demons) were important topics.
Yet, though clearly umbilically connected, as I have demonstrated elsewhere, addictive behaviors and narcissistic defenses also differ in critical ways.
When addicts engage in addictive behaviors, they seek to change their perception of their environment. As the alcoholic Inspector Morse says, once he had consumed his single Malts, "the world looks a happier place". Drugs make the things look varicolored, brighter, more hopeful, and fun-filled.
In contrast, the narcissist needs narcissistic supply to regulate his inner universe. Narcissists care little about the world out there, except as an ensemble of potential and actual sources of narcissistic supply. The narcissist's drug of choice - attention - is geared to sustain his grandiose fantasies and senses of omnipotence and omniscience.
Classical addiction - to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or to other compulsive behaviors - provides the addict with an exoskeleton: boundaries, rituals, timetables, and order in an otherwise chaotically disintegrating universe.
Not so for the narcissist.
International Conference on Addiction and Behavioral Science, Dubai, October 2018